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Paint Pictures With Words

Derek R. King Author Interview
Derek R. King Author Interview

Natyre Boy is a vivid collection of thought-provoking poetry on nature. What inspires you to write a piece of poetry?

It’s usually something I’ve experienced, been part of or seen which provides that wee creative spark of inspiration. I guess to some extent I’m an observer of life in all its forms and I try to capture those fleeting and precious moments as best I can in poetry.

It’s really important to me to convey both the visual scene and the feelings experienced in those moments too, to make them as near as I can to a shared experience with the reader. I always hope I can paint pictures with words. That probably sounds pretty pretentious, but it’s really not meant be, more of a mission statement than anything else.

My favorite poem from the collection is ‘Autumn Seas’. Do you have a favorite poem in this collection?

I do, I have a couple. The poem/ rhyme which makes me smile the most is ‘Entomology – Lesson 1’. It was such fun to write, and captures a fair bit over its eight short lines.

The other favourite is ‘Revelry.’ It is both very recent, so recent in fact it was a stop the press moment, and it was an incredibly spontaneous response to a photograph a friend posted on social media. The photo appeared and around thirty seconds later the poem popped. I love it when that kind of thing happens, the real spontaneous stuff, you know?

What are some poetic devices that you like using?

That’s a really interesting question. I don’t consciously set out to use any of the poetic devices, they just kind of invite themselves in depending on a poem’s topic. Rhythm, rhyme, metaphors and a bit of alliteration, I do use others but those would be the main ones. The other thing I try to do, which comes from my musical background I guess, is I consider how a piece would be performed. For example, would a series of words on a single line of poetry be delivered in one continuous stream or would it be split with pauses between words to accentuate, or create dramatic effect. So I have that strand in the back of my mind, sometimes I ‘hear’ the poems more as a performed lyric if that makes sense.

Do you plan to write and publish more works of poetry?

Yes, thanks for asking. There’s a third volume in this collection, also being published by the lovely folks at 8N Publishing with a planned release in Fall 2022. It’s progressing well, I’m happy to say. Like ‘Noir [or When The Night Comes]’ and ‘Natyre Boy’, there is a core theme that runs throughout this third volume and once more the cover has been created by Jane Cornwell so the three volumes are a suite as it were.

I’m also working on a short novel, which was unexpected, so we shall see where that goes in due course.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Website

From icy winter’s
chilling winds to
the warmth of
summer’s mellow breeze
the natural world can
in time, heal all
it sees.
Majestic and inspiring
with colours that astound
take heed of these moments
and the beauty all around.

Natyre Boy

Natyre Boy by [Derek R. King]

Dazzling seascapes, soft fields brimming with flowers, and the homes of mythological beings are just some of the places you’ll be transported to by the words of Derek King in his collection Natyre Boy. The exotic images he evokes tell the story of the land over the course of a year, visiting all the seasons and the changes they may bring, through storms and calm, over a variety of landscapes. While King’s poetry is often kept short, it’s nonetheless effective in telling a vivid tale that blooms in the imagination, much like so many of the flowers he describes. 

Natyre Boy is King’s second collection of poems and focuses, and you may surmise, on the natural world around us and the beauty it both possesses and exudes. It brings to mind images of idyllic, lazy days spent gazing out at the ocean, or laying in a field as bees and butterflies flit about. King’s use of language is superb, often proving that less is more in the way he can paint a complete picture over the course of just several lines. Occasionally I felt that the rhythm stumbles a bit and a poem may be a bit awkward in the way it reads, but that is a rare occurrence as more often they flow with an unbothered ease, reflecting the endless march of nature that will continue one way or another. Deeper than the poems themselves, the collection is also a commentary on the cylindrical nature of all life and the fact that nothing lasts forever, despite whatever attempts may be made to that end.

Natyre Boy is not only easy to read but solidly enjoyable. The poems exude joy and warmth in their language and delivery, creating scenes of bucolic enjoyment that seems so rare and hard to obtain in our fast filled days. King’s words perfectly grasp those universal feelings that are often incredibly difficult to name but also instantly recognizable. This collection is a joy.

Pages: 142 | ASIN: B08X77TC9K

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Ghost Hunts

S. J. Lomas Author Interview

S. J. Lomas Author Interview

Winter Chills is a collection of seasonal ghost stories that entertain and spark the imagination. How did the stories in this collection come together?

This collection was a collaboration between 4 writers who met through the #WritingCommunity on Twitter. I (S.J.) was in the process of starting up 8N Publishing, and a conversation with D.B. Carter led to the idea for this book. Derek R. King and Natalie Reeves-Billings were invited to contribute because I’d seen some of their work and was very impressed with it. I thought our individual styles would mesh well to create a cohesive overall book.

Winter Chills was born.

The Holiday Party was my favorite story from the collection. What was your favorite story from the book?

Thank you so much! It took me a lot of false starts before I was able to write The Holiday Party, so it really makes me happy to know you enjoyed it so much.

It’s hard to pick a favorite. Each story is special to me for different reasons. I think they all work well together, as a whole, even though we wrote them separately without knowing what everyone else was writing.

I’m very proud of how it all turned out.

What was the inspiration for your story, ‘The Holiday Party’?

I have a friend who’s a paranormal investigator. I’ve gone on a couple of public ghost hunts with him and it was a fascinating and peaceful experience. It really made me wonder ‘what if?’

I took that feeling and tried to apply it to the progression of the story.

Do you enjoy writing short stories, or do you prefer to work on longer novels?

It had been years since I’d written a short story, so trying that out again was a bit of a challenge for me. Every word and action has to count in a short story. You don’t have the luxury of tens of thousands of words to build up to the climax. You only have a few thousand. If you don’t start in the right place, or relay the right events, it won’t work. It was a challenge, but I really enjoyed it.

I’m working on a new series of novels now, but also starting a short story for a future collection. It’s good to keep the writing skills sharp by trying different things from time to time.

Author Links: GoodReads | TwitterFacebook | Website

In the spirit of seasonal ghost stories, this wintry collection will send a tingle down your spine, but may also warm your heart.Six short stories range from waiting for a mysterious midnight train, attending a party with an unexpected guest, a life-changing reunion for a miserable family, receiving a holiday greeting unlike any other, a visit from an unusual group of carolers, and a journey through a blizzard with a twist. Grab a blanket, your favorite hot drink, and settle in for some Winter Chills.

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Striking a Balance

Derek R. King Author Interview

Derek R. King Author Interview

The Life and Times of Clyde Kennard is the account of Clyde Kennard’s life and his significant but silent contribution to desegregate the South. What was your inspiration that made you want to write this book?

I’ve always had a fascination for the 1960’s and, reading and researching key events in that decade, one name kept cropping up, but generally only within a couple of paragraphs or a few pages at best, and that name was Clyde Kennard. I decided to hone in and further research this man to see what I could find out.

So to begin with it was really that lack of information about Mr Kennard that drew me in and I became intrigued as why that should be when many others of the civil rights movement of that time have received more attention.

The more I researched and discovered about Clyde Kennard, the more determined and passionate I became about the telling of his journey and how his efforts inspired others many decades later.

I understand that you spent more than ten years researching this book. What is something that surprised you while researching Clyde Kennard?

Yes, that’s right, and in that period my initial six pages of notes on grew into the book that exists today.

There were a few surprising things. One would have to be the lengths to which state actors would go to in those times in an attempt to stall or circumnavigate SCOTUS decisions. Another that a state would create an agency whose sole purpose was to protect it from “federal encroachment” and in essence spy on its citizens, in particular those who sought benefit from SCOTUS decisions among other things.

While these were a surprising, nothing, and you touched on this in your book review, nothing comes close to the disbelief I experienced learning about the Emmett Till case. I do still find that quite difficult to comprehend on various levels. The violence, the acquittal, the accused selling their story to Look magazine it in some graphic detail but, due to prevailing laws there could be no retrial.

This book raises Clyde Kennard up along with other civil rights leaders of the time. Was this your intention while writing this book?

To a some extent Clyde’s story told itself, the trick for me was to present it in the context of the times he lived in which I felt was critical to give his story meaning.

That period was, in my view, a time of extremes, I’m sure we’ve all seen the flashpoint photographs, Little Rock Central High, the firebomed Freedom Ride bus, Ole Miss at the time of James Meredith’s entry, the March On Washington and of course Selma.

To better understand the social and political climate of those times I completed a lot of research form both sides of the segregation debate. I wanted to try to understand not only what the issues were and why they had become so and also latterly, how those scenarios had come to be in the first place. Hence the Prologue in my book which attempts, in a few pages, to summarise how the respective positions had begun to develop over time.

The challenge with that of course was striking a balance, between Clyde’s own story and the context of those times, I think I got that right, but readers will be the real judges.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have enough research material I didn’t use to do another book on the same or related topics, however 10 years is a long time and I’ve been enjoying a little bit of a break to be honest. That said, I’m beginning to get the itch to do something. I’ve written a few short stories and I’m really enjoying that. I have also been considering a larger project on the Highland Clearances which would be a little closer to home for me. I am also gathering my poetry so may do a collection of those works. Availability wise, I will be sure to let you know.

Author Links: GoodReadsTwitterWebsite

The Life and Times of Clyde Kennard by [King, Derek R.]

In 1955, Clyde Kennard, a decorated army veteran, was forced to cut short the final year of his studies at the University of Chicago and return home to Mississippi due to family circumstances, where Kennard made the decision to complete his education. Yet still on the eve of the civil rights movement in America, Kennard’s decision would be one of the first serious attempts to integrate any public school at the college level in the state. The Life and Times of Clyde Kennard tells the true story of Kennard’s efforts to complete his further education at Mississippi Southern College (now the University of Southern Mississippi) against the backdrop of the institutionalized social order of the times and the prevailing winds of change attempting to blow that social order away. As Meredith’s admission to “Ole Miss” became more widely known at the time, Kennard became the forgotten man. Author Derek R. King shares his extensive research into Kennard’s life, and touches on key events that shaped those times.

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